Best ASICS Running Shoes Reviewed for Performance
Some of the most important benefits of running are related to your overall health, including lower blood pressure, better cardiovascular health, a lower body weight, as well as an increased release of endorphins that is sure to contribute to a more positive outlook. Since it was founded in 1949, ASICS has been dedicated to contributing to a higher quality of life as well, so it comes as no surprise that it is this company that makes some of the best running shoes available for purchase today.
ASICS running shoes are a varied category, and what differentiates them from other brands is the way in which they marry technological advancement with beautiful design. Not only are these shoes comfortable, but even more, they are made for all types of users, based on pronation, running surface and ultimate goal. With over 100 different models of running shoes, chances are you’ll be able to find the perfect pair of ASICS running shoes for you.
- ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20
- Adaptive GEL Cushioning
- Supportive Upper
- ASICS GEL-Kayano 24
- I.G.S® Technology
- FlyteFoam Midsole
- ASICS GEL-Flux 4
- SpEVA Midsole
- Guidance Line Technology
This list looks at the 10 highest rated and most advanced ASICS running shoes, helping you make your choice for a pair of sneakers that will enable you to run farther, do it faster, and to feel more comfortable on the way. The Criteria for Evaluation section contains some useful information about ASICS technologies, so if you are looking for shoes with the latest tech features, make sure to check that out as well.
10 Best ASICS Running Shoes
1. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20
We wouldn’t be talking about ASICS if we didn’t mention their adaptive GEL system at least once. ASICS’ own shock absorption system consists of a layer of gel that distributes the shock evenly through the midsole upon impact. Their GEL is a patent compound with unique impact-absorbing abilities and highly cushioning properties. The Adaptive GEL delivers greater cushioning as you start to fatigue, adjusting to your level of performance.
Improved Upper Fit
The combination of carefully engineered materials brings the upper build the adaptiveness it needs to support and comfort your foot. A combination of Gradient Mesh and 3D print deliver just the perfect fit. This new upper build makes the perfect combination of both flexibility and support at the same time. Furthermore, a new lasting method opens more space around the toe-box.
Cost and Value
The GEL-Nimbus 20 is one of the most expensive models of ASICS running shoes at the moment. A beginner runner may be discouraged to buy this because of its cost, but professional runners will know the level of technology that is applied to this shoe. This is far from being an initiator pair of shoes. Professional equipment is never cheap. Given its functionality, we believe the price is fair.
- Suitable for Trail Running
- Cushioned Insole
- Highly Breathable
- Suitable for Gym Training
- Flexible and Supportive Upper
- Less Cushioning than Predecessor
- Not Wide Enough for Some Users
2. ASICS GEL-Kayano 24
The ASICS GEL Kayano 24 counts with the innovative Impact Guidance System technology. It’s created with the sole purpose of assisting the foot in executing the most natural and stress-less range of motion. The linked componentry keeps the foot in a neutral position and enhances its natural gait coming off the heel strike to the lift of the toes. This has a series of long-term positive effects on your posture, joint health, and running form.
FlyteFoam® Midsole Technology
Realistically speaking, rubber is a thing of the past. The FlyteFoam midsole technology is exactly where eyes should be in terms of midsole materials. This compound delivers unique bounce back and responsiveness regardless of your weight, foot size, and running distance. Using only organic super-fibers, FlyteFoam is able to improve shock absorption and responsiveness at once. Its clever design helps reduce packing out that normally happens with low-density foams.
The GEL Kayano 24 exceeds the average value of the list, making it somewhat expensive. The Kayano 24 measures pretty evenly with the other best shoes on the list, and the amount of implemented technologies is enough reason to buy this shoe. Comfort, support, and a light weight are three of the main aspects of this shoe. If you can afford the purchase, we recommend it.
- FluidFit Upper Build
- Reinforced Heel Cushioning
- New FlyteFoam Midsole Compound
- Great Responsiveness and Bounce Back
- Supports Heavy Users
- Some Prefer Previous Versions
- Thun Upper
3. ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20
One of the most notable aspects of this running shoe is the fact that it offers full ground contact under the foot, making your run more stable and supported. A FlyteFoam Technology insert in the midsole allows for 54% better bounce back than regular EVA foam, while giving you an extra propel in the push-off phase.
Superior Upper Fit
With the GEL-Cumulus 20, the entire upper was redesigned so as to provide you with the most comfort available in a running shoe. Discrete eyelets disperse pressure and tension from the laces, while the seamless construction ensures that you don’t develop any hotspots, even during the longest and hardest runs.
Cost and Value
The GEL-Cumulus is a high-end running shoe at an average price, which makes it the perfect choice for anyone with a limited budget. If you feel like you would benefit from both Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL cushioning, as well as a high-quality rubber outsole, a seamless upper and a lot of stability and guidance features, then the GEL-Cumulus 20 is definitely the best option for you.
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning
- FlyteFoam Midsole Technology
- I.G.S. (Impact Guidance System) Technology
- Seamless Jacquard Upper
- Reflective Features
- Not Suitable for Overpronators
- Limited Wide Options
4. ASICS Gel-Quantum 360
What differentiates the GEL-Quantum 360 is the fact that the cushioning is found in the entire shoe. This makes it extremely comfortable, especially during your landings. For a heightened level of comfort, opt for the knit version which is even more flexible and adaptive.
From the cushioning to the FluidFit Upper, to the Heel Clutching System Technology, the premium Ortholite X-40 sockliner and a SOLYTE midsole, these shoes are made to be lightweight and to offer maximum performance for runners who have natural pronation or supination (underpronation).
Cost and Value
Not the least expensive shoe on the shelf but if comfort and performance are worth a higher price, then maybe this is the shoe you’ve been looking for. Reviews suggest that it is worth the slightly higher price and that the rewards and satisfaction outweigh the split second of pain when buying this shoe; at the end of your run, you will agree.
- 360° GEL Cushioning
- Seamless Construction
- High Performance Shoe
- Neutral Pronation
- Breathable Glove-like Fit
- Outsole Wears Out
- Upper Lacks in Durability
5. ASICS GEL-Flux 4
An innovative SpEVAFoam compound is implemented as the midsole material for the GEL-Flux 4. This compound is unique to this series and is a new initiative by ASICS to make lighter and better materials that will replace the rubber. This particular foam has highly responsive capabilities, using your own energy to propel you forward on each gait. It’s also a highly compressible and durable foam that decreases the midsole breakdown.
A special outsole pattern allows for a deep vertical flex groove that decouples the tooling around the line of the range of motion to increase the effectiveness of each gait. This helps your foot stay in a much more natural position while running, reducing joint stress and improving your running form. Despite only working in a vertical plane, the Guidance Line keeps your foot in the right direction at all times.
Cost and Value
The GEL-Flux 4 is one of the most affordable items on this list, as it sits considerably below the average value of all items. This is partly because it’s a discontinued model, meaning it will no longer be manufactured. It counts with every single aspect of running performance you may be looking to enhance, and given its value, we believe it’s a very good purchase.
- SpEVAFoam Midsole Compound
- Guidance Line Technology
- Durable Construction
- Great for Running Long Distances
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL System
- Upper Lacks in Durability
- Run Small
6. ASICS GEL-Quantum 180 2
The GEL-Quantum 180 2 has one important mission; to optimize the weight of their shoe as much as possible without compromising its structural integrity. Every aspect of this shoe is not only optimized for performance, but also for weight. A careful selection of synthetic materials allows you to get the most out of the shoe, while still making it weigh less. The lightweight ride is ideal for long-distance running and walking.
Trusstic System® technology
The Trusstic System technology is a very particular addition to the GEL-Quantum 180 2. This technology has two purposes; contributing to the lightweight construction approach of the shoe, and keeping the support and integrity of the upper build. This initiative reduces the weight of the sole unit without affecting the structure of the frame of the shoe. The result is a lightweight, supportive, and highly stable running shoe, the ASICS GEL-Quantum 180 2.
Cost and Value
The GEL-Quantum comes back in its 180 2 edition, featuring not only an average cost but also new technologies. Its lightweight approach beats its predecessor by far, being one of the lightest shoes designed by ASICS. This Quantum release is equipped with the Trusstic System technology, and its performance level is considerably above the average running shoe.
- GEL Cushioning
- Solyte Midsole Material
- Removable OrthoLite Sockliner
- Seamless Construction
- Lightweight for Long-Distance Running
- High Profile
- Too Narrow for Some Users
7. ASICS GEL-FujiTrabuco 6
As runners we all know how annoying it is to deal with laces; if they’re too short, they don’t work. If too long, you step on them. The Fujitrabuco 6 is now the exception to this issue, as it counts with an internal pocket that allows laces to remain in tension while being unexposed. This ensures your laces won’t become untied during any of your runs. It’s as easy as lacing, tucking in, and running.
You never know what obstacles you’ll come across when hitting a trail run. ASICS knows this, and thus their GEL-Fujitrabuco 6 counts with a protective rock-proof plate that will prevent obstacles from creating rock bruises. The snug fit and support around the collar are also designed to prevent debris and other elements of the trail from getting into your shoe and interfering with your running performance.
The Fujitrabuco series isn’t particularly the cheapest ASICS footwear, but it’s not the most expensive one either. It slightly exceeds the average value of the list, but that’s not an obstacle considering the level of trail running performance and protection it offers. Everything in this shoe is aimed at enhancing your running form and power. The GEL-Fujitrabuco 6, in particular, is a very reputable model.
- Protective Fit
- Flexible and Responsive Midsole
- Lace Garage
- PGUARD Toe Protector
- ComforDry Sockliner
- Slightly Heavy
- Not Water Resistant
8. ASICS MetaRun
Introducing some of their exclusive new technologies, ASICS incorporated a new midsole compound on their MetaRun release. This piece of midsole technology generates a unique bounce-back system that stays responsive no matter the distance.
ASICS is known mostly for their signature GEL Cushioning System technology, which consists of their patent compound for shock absorption. However, things take a twist on the MetaRun release, as ASICS incorporates a different compound this time. Their X-GEL compound is a new high-level hybrid gel that counts with enhanced absorptive qualities. So far this technology has only been implemented in the MetaRun design.
Cost and Value
The MetaRun wields a pretty scary price tag and is certainly not something everybody is willing to afford (or just can’t). However, it is so much above the average value for a reason; the ASICS MetaRun is packed with new and exclusive technologies that have been freshly engineered by ASICS. This shoe is possibly one of the best ones out there if you can afford to buy them.
- High-End Tech
- Exclusive X-GEL Compound
- FlyteFoam Midsole Technology
- Intelligently Responsive
- Very Expensive
- Only One Color Option
9. ASICS GEL-Kenun MX
A carefully designed outsole pattern counts with a deep vertical flex groove that moves away from the tooling along the line of progression to enhance the range of motion efficiency. Additionally, the Guidance Line technology assists the foot in assuming a neutral stance on each gait, perfecting the running form and reducing the chances of injuries because of feet misplacement upon impact.
One of the biggest problems faced by runners is the excessive sweat and odors within the inner build. This is why ASICS incorporated an OrthoLite lasting into the inner build of the shoe. This material is not only soft to the touch, but it also acts against shock as cushioning. Furthermore, its moisture-wicking properties prevent the development of odors and bacteria within the shoe.
Cost and Value
The GEL-Kenun is not necessarily the most successful ASICS series, but that doesn’t make it any less of a professional running shoe. Its cost is slightly below the average value, which isn’t really something that empties your wallet. One thing is for sure – the GEL-Kenun is straight quality and not a shoe that will disappoint you as a neutral runner.
- Moisture Wicking
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning
- Guidance Line Technology
- Great for Long Distance
- Suitable for Multiple Surfaces
- No Forefoot Cushioning
- Runs Narrow
10. ASICS GT-2000 6
The evolution of the DuoMax Support System throughout the years has grown to make it one of the key aspects of ASICS running shoes. This system gives a whole new meaning to stability and support, offering more than ever while making the shoe weightless. The increased platform support will keep your foot in a natural position all day. It doesn’t get any better than that; you get more support, at less weight.
Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL® Technology Cushioning System
When one cushioning system just doesn’t cut it, ASICS puts their GEL cushioning technology system on both the rearfoot and the forefoot. Enjoy the benefits of shock attenuation on the foot overall during both impact and take off phases. It also permits motions in different planes while the foot transitions through the range of motion of a running gait. Your foot is now protected from the impact as a whole.
Cost and Value
This shoe sits just around the average value of the list, which is why we believe it’s a great purchase. While it’s still certainly costlier than your average running shoe, this kind of neutral running footwear is far from being a traditional pair of shoes. You’re getting the newest footwear technology available at the moment of the release. We believe this is a fair purchase.
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning
- DuoMax Support System
- Upper Prevents Irritation
- Good for Overpronation
- Tight Toe Box
- Mesh Lacks in Durability
If you’re a serious runner, or just someone who’s looking at taking up jogging as a hobby, you will definitely find a pair of ASICS shoes to your liking. Whether you prefer more cushioning, a minimalistic shoe, or one made for outdoor trails, ASICS has it all. And the best part is, this is a company that is dedicated to developing new technologies to make your runs more comfortable and less stressful on your ankles, knees and back. What is more, ASICS running shoes can get so comfortable that a lot of people whose jobs require them to stand for long hours choose them as their everyday footwear. No matter which of the 10 shoes featured on this list you choose, you are bound to be satisfied. And if you need a bit more information about ASICS features, make sure to read the FAQ and Criteria for Evaluation sections as well.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best ASICS Running Shoes
In the modern era of technology and performance-enhancing features, a shoe that lacks performance technologies is considered obsolete. Don’t get it wrong – shoes that lack technology may still be worth using if their design and construction are good. However, they don’t compare to those shoes that have been technologically designed to offer enhanced features.
Some people would be surprised by the amount of technology that goes on inside a running shoe. When looking for the best ASICS running shoes, we carefully inspected the technologies involved in each of the running shoes put up for evaluation. For obvious reasons, we gave a slight preference to the shoes that involve more and better performance-oriented technology.
Unlike some users believe, technology does not necessarily involves mechatronic components or digital activity. The technology is anything that can reduce human effort or make a task simpler. In the world of performance footwear, any feature that enhances your performance or reduces the effort required to perform is considered technology.
The more of it you can get in a shoe, the better. But over quantity, you should always be looking for quality. Something as simple as a lacing system that makes better use and distribution of the tension in the laces is considered technology. Of course, there are advanced technologies just like there are simple ones.
ASICS in particular counts with a huge variety of technologies oriented to sports performance. They’re constantly on the hunt for new technologies, lighter and more compressible materials, greater absorption through the gel, and so on. That is in part what defines a quality shoe manufacturer.
We’ll give you some insight on specific technologies developed and used by ASICS in their best running shoes. If you’re looking to take your performance to its most optimal level, then these technologies should give you an idea of what to look for:
- Two Density Midsole™
This technology was designed to boost the speed of footwork and sudden, forceful movements in sports that call for constant and synchronized feet movement. By using two types of midsoles, tennis and basketball players can turn and move much faster and smoother.
Both midsoles count with different levels of hardness that derivate from the different material densities. The two midsoles work together to adequately change their structure in relation to the pressure applied to them during movement. This allows for a much faster reaction. Depending on the sport and the purpose, the characteristics will vary.
For example, a user who practices table tennis counts with a low-hardness midsole material to support quick and smooth lateral motions. Handball and basketball shoes, on the other hand, have a high-hardness midsole material located on the exterior side of the forefoot. This reduces lateral swinging of the foot when performing a side turn.
The Two Density Midsole™ smoothens forward and lateral motions as well as spins and turns, as they’re highly-important aspects of many court sports. The purpose of this technology is to assists the user in conducting such motions properly. By having a second midsole, cushioning properties are also improved.
- FluidFit™The FluidFit™ technology is a combination of materials used to optimize the fit of the upper build. This is done by providing a mesh upper that is composed of two parts; a non-elastic part that acts as a reinforcement, and an elastic part that creates responsiveness as the foot moves inside the shoe. What it does is keep the foot in place in a stable manner as the user runs. While the foot is moving inside the shoe, the intuitive mesh upper will hold it in place thanks to its non-elastic portion. At the same time, the elastic motion will adapt to the foot movement, reshaping itself around the foot and delivering support at all times. This reduces the instability of the foot during running and increases running efficiency.
- Solyte midsoleYou’ve probably heard about a material called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). It’s become pretty popular amongst shoe manufacturers, as it delivers a spongy effect that beats rubber and weighs much less. What you may not have heard of, though, is ASICS’s new material, Solyte. Solyte is twice as light as EVA and delivers 20% more shock absorption during impact activities like running. It meets the high levels of demands by elite running and triathlon athletes. This very same material is found on the bumpers of cars; its absorption properties are so good, that they’re used to protect lives. For the first time, ASICS incorporated such material into the world of sports footwear. Solyte is a resilient resin that has greater foaming properties than most other midsole materials in the market. It’s also much more compressible, meaning it will deliver a more powerful bounce-back every time it decompresses in a running gait. It’s much lighter and efficient than most other sponge-like shoe materials. Normally, reducing the weight of a material means hindering its properties. But this is not the case of solyte, as they developed a custom resin blend that keeps functionality at the top while obtaining a lower weight.
- Guidance LineThe Guidance Line found in the outsole of ASICS running shoes aims at improving the gait cycle of runners by contributing to better alignment both during the landing and the push off phase. It’s a vertical groove which runs all the way through the outsole, and which centers the pressure of each impact into these grooves. What this enables is more compression along the line, which, in turn, allows your entire foot to be in a more correctly aligned position. This is a piece of technology that both underpronators and overpronators can contribute from, seeing that it lessens the chances of your foot twisting, thus you are less likely to roll an ankle and hurt yourself during your runs, even on less stable surfaces such as nature trails. The runners who will benefit most, however, from the guidance line, are those with less experience and whose running technique still needs to be developed. Beginner runners can rest assured that the Guidance Line Technology will lessen their chances of injury, and will enable a more comfortable run that will result in less ankle, knee, hip and back pain in the long run.
- SpEVAThis is a material which ASICS uses to replace traditional EVA foam in order to achieve properties more suited for runners of all levels. It’s a material developed by using both traditional EVA foam as well as a rubber ball material, which creates a compound that offers the benefits of both of these constituents. While EVA foam has great shock absorption and cushioning properties, rubber is better at bounceback, and rebound, allowing the runner to have more energy with each push off. Used in different shapes and in different locations, SpEVA allows ASICS shoes to give a unique combination of the two. One of the benefits of SpEva over other ASICS technologies is its price, seeing that it’s usually found in more affordable running shoes. With a lower price point than Solyte or FlyteFoam, it allows users with a more limited budget to get the benefits of a great running shoe that is suitable for long and hard runs.
- FluidRide™Not a material but a construction method, FluidRide™ is another piece of ASICS technology focused on improving performance in running shoes. It’s a twin-layer structure that incorporates a Solyte material for its shock absorption properties and combines it with SpEVA for a better rebound experience in their running shoes. What differentiates it from similar materials is the fact that it’s extremely lightweight. It’s located in the heel area of some of the best ASICS running shoes such as the GEL-Nimbus 20 and is definitely a piece of ASICS technology to look out for when shopping for new running shoes.
- FlyteFoamOne of the latest pieces of patented ASICS technology, FlyteFoam is a midsole technology which is inserted in the best of ASICS running shoes. Newly developed, this system uses organic super-fibers which have astounding bounce-back abilities – they are able to return to their original shape in the matter of milliseconds. This means that with each stride, these fibers go back to their original state, enabling you to have the most responsive cushioning available on the market.What makes FlyteFoam stand out, even more, is its extremely small weight, seeing that they are 55% lighter than the industry standard. You are bound to benefit from this reduction in weight if you are someone who likes to run longer distances, or if you want to use your ASICS shoes in competitive running.Combining these two properties, FlyteFoam is a great midsole technology to have in your shoes, seeing that it is also more durable than traditional cushioning. As it bounces back more quickly, it is less likely to flatten over time (or by the end of your run) ensuring that you get an elite level of performance from your shoes, start to finish.
- Forefoot and Rearfoot GEL CushioningFirst introduced in 1986, GEL cushioning has become a staple of ASICS footwear seeing that it provides a reliable and durable cushioning system that is, most importantly, comfortable. It’s found in either the forefoot or rearfoot of ASICS shoes, but the best running footwear will feature it in both parts. Even more, newer models insert GEL cushioning in the entire footbed to ensure a soft ride for runners who want the most comfortable run. Scientists have shown that when landing, a runner will put three to five times their entire body weight on just one part of their foot. The amount of shock that is created during these landings is one of the leading causes of injury in runners, which means that all athletes, professional and enthusiasts, need to look for ways in which this shock can be dispersed from the foot and stopped from affecting their joints and muscles. With GEL inserts, the shock from each landing is absorbed and evenly distributed through the entire foot. This enables not only a more comfortable experience but also contributes to lower levels of fatigue and lessened chances of injury.
- Heel Clutching SystemAn important safety and performance feature found in ASICS running shoes is the Heel Clutching System which ensures that there is minimal heel movement inside the shoe. The main benefit of this type of technology is a heightened level of comfort, as less movement means less traction, which in turn results in a lowered likelihood of you developing any blisters on your heels. But there are other benefits of such a system as well. Heel stability and a secure fit of your running shoes on your heel can mean better performance in terms of tracking. Furthermore, proper heel alignment minimizes chances of injuries in the ankle and heel area. The ASICS Heel Clutching System utilizes a special resin insert in the shoe that is specially designed and constructed to adapt to a wide variety of heels so that any runner can benefit from it.
The weight of a shoe has become a popular factor to consider amongst runners and other sports practitioners. Each day, lighter shoes are more demanded; not only in terms of quantity, but users also call for shoes that are even lighter every time. You may have noticed a constant race amongst running shoe designers regarding who offers the lightest (and most functional) shoe.
Before proceeding, know that in most cases, reducing the weight of an object also means reducing its qualities. Depending on the sport you’re practicing, this may be an advantage or a disadvantage. Regardless, the weight of a shoe should only be optimized to a point in which the performance qualities are not critically affected.
ASICS generally makes light shoes, and in some cases, they make some of the lightest ones on the market. But, the most important thing is that those shoes are highly functional while being ridiculously light.
Our criteria are meant to be applied to running shoes. However, if your practice calls for a lighter shoe over a better shoe, then get the lighter one. Also keep in mind that preferences play a role here, and you may find that a lighter shoe works better for you than a technically advanced one. At NicerShoes, however, we believe that functionality beats weight. For us, a shoe that weighs 8oz and has an 85% functionality rating is better than one that weighs 6oz with a 75% functionality rating.
A shoe that is too heavy requires a greater effort to lift off the ground. While such amount of effort is meaningless in one gait, it can quickly add up as you start running. A lightweight shoe will save you some effort in each gait. At the end of the run, when you’ve performed over a thousand gaits, your feet and muscles will certainly feel the difference in the shoe’s weight.
There are two principal characteristics of a shoe that are involved in its weight:
A material is called dense when its molecules are heavy. For example, 1ml of EVA weights 5mg, whereas 1ml of solyte weighs just 3mg. Despite both having the same amount of material, 1ml, solyte is lighter; this means that it’s less dense than ethylene-vinyl acetate.
However, you don’t necessarily want to opt for less dense materials. A dense compound will have more matter in 1ml than a compound that is not as dense. This means you’ll be able to fit more of the material, 30g for example, inside the same space where you would only be able to fit 20g of the less-dense material.
If the space we’re talking about is the midsole, for example, the denser material would be able to offer better absorption properties, as there would be more matter within that space. This would make the midsole heavier, of course. It’s a matter of what objective you’re trying to achieve. Is it a lighter weight, better absorption, or a middle ground between both?
The problem with reducing the weight of a shoe is that its qualities are reduced with it as we explained previously. At the same time, a lighter shoe also means a thinner shoe. Not only does a lighter shoe offer lesser performance qualities (in most cases), but they’re also likely to endure much less.
Think of air mesh, for example. That material is nearly weightless, but it offers very little to no resistance and protection at all. In fact, it’s known for being one of the materials that break the most in shoes. A shoe made entirely from mesh would be extremely light, but it would take little effort to rip it apart.
Because of this, it’s important to consider the qualities of the materials aside from their weight. The best running shoes are those that, aside from being lightweight, offer abrasion-resistant properties and a certain level of resistance. As you can probably guess, a shoe that breaks easily is no good, no matter its level of performance or what it weights.
This is one of the most important aspects in running shoes. As you’ll know by now, running is a high-impact activity. The sport involves a considerable amount of impact, not just regarding the force of each impact, but also the continuity of it. As a runner, you’re constantly exposed to stress generated by the force of each impact.
Shock absorption is what prevents this energy from hurting your feet. The more absorption there is the less energy that gets into your body. Don’t get it wrong, though – the impact will always make its way into your body, no matter how good the shoe is. Shock absorption is not meant to neutralize impact, but to hinder it.
The thing about shock absorption is that, unlike other features, it not only affects our feet but rather our whole body. If the shock is not regulated or absorbed, it will make its way up all the way from your heel to your spine. All the joints and muscles in the way will be affected. While the impact of one gait won’t hurt you, repetitive running in poorly-equipped shoes can lead to disaster.
ASICS in particular counts with a highly-efficient shock absorption system, known as the GEL Cushioning Technology. It basically consists of a layer of a patent gel-like substance that lies within the midsole of the shoes. This gel does a great job at dispersing shock and creating a cushioning effect on each step.
Some ASICS shoes count with rearfoot GEL cushioning, whereas other shoes count with two individual layers of the gel; one on the forefoot, and one on the rearfoot area. They’re always located inside the midsole.
The lack of an effective shock-absorption system can lead to serious damage on feet if not attended or if repeated excessively. On minor cases, users are likely to experience heel bruises which may impede them from perming for a short time lapse. However, the lack of shock absorption will have long-term effects on the joints, ultimately being capable of affecting your posture.
The midsole of the shoes is the only element that is directly responsible for the shock absorption process. While other elements participate in diminishing shock, it is the midsole that has the most influence on the process. This is why most shock absorption technologies are normally located within or around the midsole area.
Midsoles vary greatly in size, shape, material, and purposes depending on the sport they’re meant for. In the case of running shoes, a midsole normally features a medium height; not too low to fit more material, and not too high to not affect the stability. But in reality, what matters the most are the technologies and the material of the midsole.
Materials like EVA and TPU that are spongy and foam-like count with excellent absorptive properties; far more efficient than traditional rubber. However, an important factor to consider is the compressibility of the material. It has a lot do to with responsiveness, also known as bounce-back.
The bounce-back is an innovative system that, instead of dispersing shock, makes use of it to compress itself and then impulse to the user forward when decompressing. This way, aside from absorbing shock, the midsole is used to accumulate impact energy and use it to increase the user’s performance.
A shoe that lacks flexibility is of very little use, and certainly useless in a sport like running. The best running shoes will never restrict your foot from bending or arching naturally. ASICS shoes in particular normally offer high standards of flexibility.
Flexibility is something that should be present on the sole, which is the area of the shoe that represents the underfoot. The middle of the sole would represent our arch in the human feet anatomy, which is why it’s the most flexible point of a shoe.
However, the upper build also requires a certain level of flexibility. This is because our feet assumes a wide variety of different postures as we run. Its shape varies a lot, and a stiff, non-flexible upper build will restrict most of these motions. For runners, it’s highly important that shoes allow their arch and upper foot to bend and flex freely.
The lack of flexibility will place a considerable amount of stress on the arch of our feet. Think of shoes as a foot that covers ours; its objective is to mimic the foot as accurately as possible. Knowing that flexibility is paramount for the human foot, a shoe that has none of it won’t get you too far really, especially in a sport like running.
Flexibility is not something you want to overdo either. The more flexible the shoe, the less firm and stable it is. You don’t want your shoe to lose its structure in order to gain more flexibility. You only need such feature to an extent in which you can bend your arch and move your foot comfortably inside the shoe. The best running shoes are those which offer a healthy balance between support and flexibility.
If a shoe lacks support, our feet will swing and dance around the shoe in total synchronization. The support not only improves the fit of the shoe, but it also prevents out feet from overpronating and supinating. The objective of holding our feet steady is to prevent them from assuming an unnatural position.
If the foot is misplaced or disoriented upon impact, the user is much more likely to suffer an injury. On the other hand, a highly-supportive shoe will keep the foot in a totally natural and neutral position, preventing it from rolling inwards or outwards excessively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to choose ASICS running shoes?
A: The first thing to consider is the activity you’ll perform. Are you just going to run on the pavement around the park? Or are you considering trying some trail running as well? It’s highly important to consider the activity you’ll do before purchasing a specific pair of ASICS running shoes.
Next, you must analyze if you’re a neutral runner. This refers to your ability to pronate. If your pronation is normal, then you’re a neutral runner and should opt for a neutral ASICS running shoe. If you’re an overpronator, then you must consider a shoe meant for overpronators – ASICS has multiple.
Lastly, we recommend following our criteria and purchasing advice in order to make an effective purchase that will fulfill your needs and avoid returns or poor experiences.
Q: How often to replace ASICS running shoes?
A: It’s impossible to tell exactly how long a shoe will last. However, you can identify the different elements and their state to determine if the shoe needs replacement anytime soon or not. For instance, a squeaky shoe is a clear sign that the midsole is done for good.
The gradual loss of grip is another clear sign of degrading. We recommend replacing your shoes as soon as they start to present any major flaws. Running is an activity that can be troublesome and hazardous if your shoes don’t function properly anymore.
Q: How to wash ASICS running shoes?
A: Never put your running shoes in the washer, as this will damage them and impact their performance abilities. Instead, wash the insoles separately, and use an old toothbrush, some water, and a gentle soap to scrub dirt from the outside. When drying your shoes, make sure to do it away from any direct source of heat as this will change the shape of your shoes. Instead, let them air dry in a cool, ventilated place for about 24 hours.
Q: What are neutral running shoes?
A: Neutral running shoes are those that are meant for users with no problems regarding pronation or supination. Neutral runners are those who pronate normally at the moment of performing a running gait. Most of the shoes on this list are neutral running shoes, but some other are meant to assist overpronators.
Check the description of each product before making a purchase in order to identify the neutral ones. It’s not too bad that you use a shoe for overpronators as a neutral runner, but overpronators may find high discomfort in neutral running shoes.
Q: How should running shoes fit?
A: A running shoe should fit like any other performance shoe. Needless to say, they must be true to their size, but most importantly, true to your size. When running, a shoe that bounces back and forth is no good. Look for a fit that makes your shoe and your foot become just one element.
The support of the shoe has a lot to do with the quality of the fit. A shoe that lacks support will be loose regardless of its size in relation to yours. Lastly, lacing your shoe correctly will improve the fit on the upper foot.
Q: Where to buy ASICS running shoes?
A: ASICS is one of the most popular running shoe brands in the whole world, and thus their products are not hard to find. Their retail stores are abundant, as well as other stores which resell ASICS running shoes.
Online purchase is a much more popular choice, though. We’ve already gone through many Amazon publications in order to find the cheapest and most trustworthy sellers of ASICS running shoes. Additionally, on a platform like Amazon, you’ll have access to a much wider variety of models and colors to choose from.
Note that Amazon’s customer protection will prevent your money from frauds and fake products. If purchasing from the manufacturer or an official distributor on Amazon, you still have access to the original guarantee of the product.
Q: What is the best ASICS shoe for overpronators?
A: Our professional recommendation would be the ASICS GEL-Kayano 24, as its equipped with that bit more of support to lock your foot in the right position through each running gait.
Q: How much do ASICS shoes cost?
A: ASICS shoes involve some of the latest technology in the world of performance-enhancing footwear. As you can probably guess, high-end technology isn’t really cheap. However, the cost of an ASICS shoe varies on a lot of parameters, one of the most important ones being the release date. Clearly, newer products are costlier.
Aside from that, an ASICS running shoe can be found anywhere between $35 and $300. Depending on your commitment to the sport as well as your specific needs, you may opt for any range of costs. Regardless of which one you choose, know that chances are you’ll be highly satisfied with your purchase.